The top flyweights in the world are set to collide in ONE Championship’s historic 100th event at ONE: CENTURY on 13 October at the Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo, Japan.
Both athletes overcame stiff challenges in the semifinals at ONE: DAWN OF HEROES this past 2 August at the Mall Of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines.
Kingad upended Reece “Lightning” McLaren and Johnson defeated Tatsumitsu “The Sweeper” Wada.
With just roughly two months to spare until the final match, that gives little time for both athletes to rest.
For Team Lakay head coach Mark Sangiao, it is all about balancing rest and preparation.
“We’ll be giving a week of light training before we go back to the rigid training sessions,” Sangiao shared.
“We haven’t really finished sitting down intently and discussing our lapses in the previous match.”
One factor that Sangiao is looking at is the possibility of Kingad burning out from going hard each and every training session.
Sangiao says he has everything covered if he sees signs that “The King” is burnout during training.
“You’ll see that during training sessions, that sometimes he’ll get burnt out, we have adjustments for that,” Sangiao shared.
“We have a lot of adjustments for everything. We have to have everything covered because we know that Johnson is a very difficult opponent. He has proven it worldwide.”
Fans and experts alike point out that Kingad is in a win-win situation in his bout against an athlete touted by many as the pound-for-pound greatest mixed martial artist in history.
After all, at 23 years old, Kingad will be getting something out of it - regardless of the result.
Sangiao agrees with that notion, but do not expect them to be happy just to be there.
“It’s a win-win situation for us, even more so if we win,” Sangiao said with a laugh.
“We cannot be content with where we are right now. We have to win. If Danny wins here, it will not only be for him but for the Philippines as well, knowing Demetrious and the legacy that he has worldwide.”
Whatever happens, Sangiao knows that Kingad would not be backing down from the 12-time flyweight World Champion.
“He’s up for a grind. He’s the pound-for-pound king worldwide, but let’s look at Danny - maybe he’s really ‘The King.’”
Catch ONE Championship’s event, ONE: IMMORTAL TRIUMPH, on 6 September in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. It will be the organization’s first ever all-Super Series event.
Watch the action live on the ONE Super App.
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